The Association of Staff and Curriculum Development (ASCD) has a " Whole Child Blog" and their themes often cover physical activity and physical education and why they are critical to educating the whole child.

A recent discussion covered the topic of : Why Do We Need Physical Education in Schools?

Healthy School Communities Director Sean Slade illustrates the two sides of the debate in his blog post on the Whole Child website. Althoug…
Watch this 3 minute video on how exercise promotes learning. John Raney author of SPARK explains 3 ways that brain grow occurs and why.

Watch 3 minute Video
CBS in Canada ran a 19 minute documentary on an alternative high school and their exercise program based on Dr. John Raney's SPARK book and research known as Brain Gain Theory.

New research and pilot fitness programs in schools are showing positive results that exercise helps the human brain learn.

Video: Brain Gains
The new proposed meal requirements will raise nutrition standards for the first time in fifteen years. They will make critical changes to school meals and help improve the health and nutrition of nearly 32 million kids that participate in school meal programs. These changes are also an important component of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative to solve the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation.

"The Unite…
The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) offers the Tire-Derived Product (TDP) Grant Program to promote markets for recycled-content products derived from waste tires generated in California and decrease the adverse environmental impacts created by unlawful disposal and stockpiling of waste tires.

Eligible agencies are public entities which include: California cities, counties, public school districts, public col…
"One thing I heard from many par­ents was that their child responded well to phys­i­cal exer­cise. They also reported that it helped their chil­dren burn off excess energy and main­tain a calmer and more focused state," according to Dr. Rabiner.

A new study substantiates this observational data. The study pub­lished recently online in the Jour­nal of Atten­tion Dis­or­ders exam­in­ed the effects of an extended phys­i­cal activ­ity …
(photo from campaign media kit)

A former science and world history teacher was sworn in as the 27th state superintendent of public instruction Monday. Tom Torlakson, took his oath of office in the high school where he once taught high school science and history.

During his tenure in the CA Legislature, he acted to protect education funding, improve student nutrition and physical education, and ensure school safety. He carried notable new legisl…
A California Court of Appeal ruled that parents may sue a school or district that is not providing students the minimum amount of physical education mandated by state law. It has been reported that more than half the state's schools were not providing the required 200 minutes every 10 days for elementary-school students, or 400 minutes over that period for middle- and high-schoolers. San Francisco Chronicle
On an elementary school playground, the biggest and most boisterous kids tend to rule the roost. If they cut in line to use the monkey bars, no one will stop them. If they want to change the rule to a game, they’ll probably get their way. But at La Crescent-Hokah Elementary School, La Crescent, MN, the playing field will soon be leveled.

Immediately, teachers at the school saw a change in playground atmosphere after implementing Peaceful Playgrou…
The Saucony Run for Good grant program encourages an active and healthy lifestyles in children and is now accepting applications. Grants are open to community nonprofit organization that initiate running programs and up to $10,000 will be awarded.

As a company by runners, and for runners, Saucony understands the benefits of running extend way beyond strong legs and healthy hearts; research shows running can also help children do better in school…
Fiskars Invites Applications for Project Orange Thumb Garden Grants.

Fiskars, a global supplier of consumer products for the home, garden, and outdoors, has opened the application process for 2011 Project Orange Thumb garden grants and makeovers in the United States and Canada.

Fiskars will choose eleven recipients from the pool of grant applicants — ten will receive $5,000 each in cash and tools, and one applicant will receive a complete garden …
Kudo's to Parenting Magazine and the November issue in which they made the case for school day recess.

We've all heard of "the three R's": reading, writing, and arithmetic. The latest issue of Parenting School Years magazine is adding a fourth "R" to that list... RECESS!

What advice to they give for parents facing recess elimination? Contact your state recess advocate or visit

An article with resources on How to Establish a Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program in Your District was recently released and supported by the California School Boards Association, California Project Lean, Successful Students and funded through the California Endowment.

The identify the following five areas are critical components in a comprehensive program:

1. Quality PE

2. Physical Activity During the School Day including recess and c…
Miami County Republic Newspaper
Beaver Dam, Wisc.

Written by Brian McCauley
Friday, 15 October 2010 08:00

Two of the biggest issues facing youths these days are childhood obesity and bullying, and Cottonwood Elementary School in Paola is about to institute a program that could help tackle both problems.

Thanks to an impressive stretch of state teacher of the year finalists, Cottonwood Elementary had enough funds to pay for a new program, and …
Applications Open for General Mills Foundation 2011 Champions for Healthy Kids Grant Program.

Grants of $10,000 will be awarded to community-based groups working to develop creative ways to help youth adopt a balanced diet and physically active lifestyle.

Deadline: December 15, 2010

Download Grant Application

Grant Writing Tips
The Department of Education posted the new PEP grant winners for 2010 earlier today. Congratulations to all the districts that secured the grants.
In many California school cafeterias, there's no water available to drink.

Hard to believe but true. Drinking water is not available in many school cafeterias throughout CA.

A California bill requiring schools to offer drinking water at no charge to students has passed the Senate and Assembly and awaits the governor's signature — a fairly sure thing because the governor sponsored the bill, according to the Los Angeles Times.

I'm glad …
A recent "Well" blog posting from New York Times Blogger, Gretchen Reynolds ask, Can exercise make kids smarter?

In her blog she suggests that researchers showed that fit children had significantly larger basal ganglia, a key part of the brain that aids in maintaining attention and “executive control,” or the ability to coordinate actions and thoughts crisply.

The study groups consisted of children of similar socioeconomic backgrounds…
Listen in on a great debate on Structured VS Non-Structured Recess at BAM Radio.

Join Rae Pica Is structured recess the way to go? Will it mean more activity or less initiative? Listen & decide!:
Peaceful Playgrounds September Issue of the Grants Newsletter is now available.